SEBRING, Fla. -- March 17, 2001 -- In a role reversal from a year ago, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS contingent at the Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring continue to count on better handling and fewer pit stops to stay ahead of the more powerful BMW M3 V-8 as...
SEBRING, Fla. -- March 17, 2001 -- In a role reversal from a year ago, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS contingent at the Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring continue to count on better handling and fewer pit stops to stay ahead of the more powerful BMW M3 V-8 as the endur ance race completes its half-way point
The #23 Alex Job Racing MecKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Sascha Maassen/Lucas Luhr/Emmanuel Collard leads the #42 BMW M3 V8 of Lehto/J. Muller by 20 seconds as a result of staying on the track when the fuel-hungry BMW was forced to pit. The BMW, the only V8 among the BMW contingent, is four seconds faster than the Porsches, but must pit every 50 minutes for fuel, while the Porsches can go another half-hour before pitting.
"We seem to handle better in the corners, and our fuel economy might give us an extra lap or two on the track, so this might be more of a chess match than a drag race," said Maassen, who handed the car over to Lucas Luhr about one hour and 20 minutes into the race. Collard, then Maassen, and Luhr again have driven the car since.
Third is the second Alex Job McKenna Porsche of Randy Pobst/Christian Menzel/Timo Bernhard, while the PTG BMW of Stuck/Said/P. Cunningham is fourth.
"Although we can hold the BMW off in the corners, it can pass us at will on the straight," said Pobst, "but we have reliability on our side, and it's a long, hot event."
The Michael Petersen/Bob Wollek/Johnny Mowlem White Lightning Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS withdrew its entry on race morning out of respect to the memory of Bob Wollek, who died yesterday in a highway traffic accident.
"We are hoping that the pressure of running at full speed -- that five-second-faster-a-lap pace we didn't see in qualifying -- will force BMW into a mechanical failure or on-track mistake," said team owner Alex Job.
"We will continue to circulate at a reliable pace, and hope the 12-hour event unfolds in our favor," said Job.
Third is the second Alex Job Porsche of Randy Pobst/Christian Menzel/Timo Bernhard, with Timo driving at the four-hour mark.
Both Kelly-Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Rs -- the #98 and the #99 cars -- are out of the event, with the #98 Polk/Wagner/Law breaking a half-shaft, and the #99 Murry/Lazzaro/Sospirl car losing an axle. The #43 BMW Motorsports M3 had some engine problems, and has lost 15 laps to the GT leaders, while the #10 PTG BMW M3 is out of the event with a blown engine. Only the #42 car mentioned above is V-8 powered.
The Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring presented by Dodge is being telecast live on the Speedvision network live until its conclusion on Saturday, March 17, at 11:00 PM Eastern time. The race is als being broadcast live on the Le Mans Radio Network, which can b e accessed on the Web at www.americanlemans.com.
That same American Le Mans Series web site also has live timing and scoring during the race event.
The official Porsche web site -- www.porsche.com -- is filing stories and photos during and after the race. Porsche web site users should choose "North America" on the home page when prompted to choose a country, then choose "motorsports," then "motorsport news" to find the ALMS updates. Other web sites that are following the overall event include the American Le Mans site mentioned above, the ON TRACK ONLINE site, (www.ontrackonline.com), The Race Site (www.theRaceSite.com), the Speedvision site (www.speedvision.com), Motorsport.com (www. motorsport.com) and the CompuServe site (www.motorsportsforum.com).